When you wake up in the morning, you’ve just endured a whole night of no nourishment, which is why your body needs food – fast. It can be tempting to succumb to your hunger pangs and cook yourself a fry-up or stop for a drive-through McDonald’s McMuffin on the way to work, but the nutritional value of your breakfast is just as important as actually eating the breakfast itself.
If you start the day with sugar, you’ll only spike your blood sugar, which will then drop suddenly and leave you hungrier than ever before it’s even lunchtime. Greasy, fatty breakfast foods are just as bad – you’re putting all of the wrong ingredients into your body, which will only leave you craving more food later on in the day.Don’t think that skipping breakfast is the way to achieve your weight loss goals. The easiest way to naturally and gradually lose weight over a sustained period of time is to manage the foods that you’re eating, not cut them out. Luckily, there are specific breakfast foods that have proven effective in a weight loss diet, and we’re here to share 10 of the best with you now.
1. Poached eggs
Eggs are a staple breakfast food, but their nutritional value entirely depends upon the way you prepare them. While fried eggs are definitely not the best breakfast option, poached eggs are the way forward.
Eggs are a low-calorie food that is rich in protein and other weight-loss nutrients. Studies have found that eggs boost metabolic activity and increase feelings of fullness, which means if you choose to start your day with eggs, you’re more likely to feel satisfied right through until lunchtime.
To poach an egg, simply crack one or two eggs into a bowl, then bring a pan of water to a simmer. Tip the eggs into the pan and cook for a couple of minutes, then turn off the heat and leave the eggs in the pan for another ten minutes.
If you’re a fan of a sweet breakfast, ditch the sugar on your cereal and go for berries instead. Research shows that berries, like raspberries and blueberries, contain specific properties that can help you lose weight.
They’re packed full of fibre, which your body takes longer to break down, so it slows down digestion and keeps you fuller for longer. Another study found that raspberries contain a compound called ketones, which boosts the metabolism and speeds up the breakdown of fat.
It’s easy to incorporate berries into your breakfast foods. You can sprinkle them over your porridge or muesli, blitz them into a smoothie, or even bake them into a batch of breakfast muffins. Fresh or frozen is fine – there shouldn’t be much difference in nutritional value.
3. Green tea
It’s not just the foods you eat at breakfast that can help you to lose weight, but also the beverages you drink. Green tea has long been a staple breakfast accompaniment, and love it or hate it, it’s incredibly good for you.
It’s thought that the flavonoids and caffeine in green tea can help speed up the body’s metabolic rate, as well as increasing fat oxidation and even improving insulin activity. This is backed by a number of studies that directly link green tea consumption with weight loss.
Green tea is widely available in most supermarkets, so switch up your regular morning cuppa with a green alternative every now and then for the best weight loss results. If you’re not a fan of the green tea flavour, try adding lemon juice or a bit of honey – but no sugar!
4. Greek yogurt
With its thick, creamy texture, it’s easy to see why Greek yogurt is a favourite breakfast food for so many people. And good news – it’s also really good for you, thanks to its impressive protein, calcium, iodine, and potassium content.
Studies have found evidence that Greek yogurt, which is a relatively low-calorie breakfast option, can help you feel fuller for longer. If you’re using it in place of higher calorie foods, like cheese and cream, you’ll get the same satisfaction while promoting weight loss.
When buying Greek yogurt, go for one that’s the lowest in fat and sugars, and don’t be tempted by artificial flavourings. You can always add a little natural sweetness to your yogurt yourself with berries and honey, or sprinkle with nuts for a bit of crunch.
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We’re all aware that adding fruit to your breakfast is a great way to start the day, and bananas are some of the best examples of breakfast done right. Before they ripen, bananas are rich in something called resistant starch, which has been found in studies to slow down the digestion process.
This promotes healthy gut bacteria, which in turn suppresses the appetite and leads to more efficient fat burn. If you struggle with bloating, bananas are also great for improving digestion.
Underripe bananas have a flavour that doesn’t appeal to everyone, so you could try adding them to a smoothie with some milk and peanut butter for a more enjoyable taste. Or you could try cutting one into small pieces and adding it as a topping, with nuts and honey, to your yogurt, cereal, or porridge.
6. Peanut butter
We already know that protein-rich foods can promote weight loss by helping us feel fuller for longer, and peanut butter is no different. Studies have found that eating foods that are rich in monosaturated and polysaturated fatty acids, like peanuts and peanut butter, can reduce appetite and preserve muscle mass during weight loss, as well as raise the good cholesterol in your body. A little goes a long way with the stuff, as it’s fairly high in calories.
Be aware that the type of peanut butter you buy is really important when it comes to your weight loss goals. Avoid the cheaper peanut butters, as they tend to be loaded with extra salt and sugar for flavouring. Natural and organic is best – it’s worth spending that extra bit of cash for the best option!
7. Chia seeds
You might be yet to have had any experience with chia seeds yet, but they’re worth adding to your breakfasts simply for the whole host of health benefits they can offer. It’s well-known that chia seeds curb your appetite and promote weight loss. They’re incredibly high in fibre – in fact, it’s recommended that you drink a glass of water when consuming chia seeds because of their high fibre content – which means that they’re guaranteed to keep you fuller for longer.
Sprinkle chia seeds on top of your sweet or savoury breakfast to help stop you reaching for that mid-morning snack when the hunger hits. The seeds have a slightly nutty flavour, which makes them a great pairing for pretty much any breakfast dish, although they taste the best combined with yogurt or oats. You can buy chia seeds online here
It’s great to see that oatmeal is officially coming back on trend after being considered a “grandma’s breakfast” for far too long. Not only are oats a delicious way to start your morning, they’re incredible for weight loss, too.
It’s thought that adding oatmeal to your diet can promote a reduced calorie intake thanks to its high fibre content. The fibre in oats combined with the water or milk in prepared oatmeal or overnight oats helps to keep you feeling full for longer, which can help you to reduce your calorie intake throughout the day.
If you’re not a fan of the traditional porridge, there are plenty of ways to make your oatmeal more interesting. Try making bircher muesli with apple juice and cinnamon, or overnight oats with Greek yogurt and berries. You can even blend oats into your morning smoothie for something a little different.
Here’s a healthy breakfast option for when you’ve got a little more time. When eaten as part of a calorie-reduced diet, salmon can help you lose weight by providing you with all the nutrients you need while helping to satisfy your hunger. Salmon is packed with protein, a known nutrient for promoting fullness, and omega-3 fatty acids, which have been found in a number of studies to increase weight loss.
It’s best to use wild salmon in your breakfast dishes, which has a healthier ratio of anti-inflammatory omega-3 fats to inflammatory omega-6 fats, as well as an overall better nutritional profile. Try grilling your salmon and enjoying it with eggs, avocado and sourdough toast.
Some of us can’t stomach food at breakfast time, and if that’s you, you might benefit from blitzing up a smoothie and taking it with you for when hunger strikes later in the morning. It’s thought that starting your day with a nutrient-dense smoothie can help to promote weight loss by curbing hunger levels and even promoting weight loss, thanks to the filling fibre content and muscle-building protein in your smoothie ingredients.
Be mindful of what you put in your smoothies, as some ingredients are healthier than others. Natural yogurt, berries, oats, low-fat milk, a little honey, chia seeds, citrus juices and beetroot are all good options. Stay away from shop-bought smoothies as they tend to be packed full of artificial flavourings, with a far lower nutritional value.
So, now that you know the ins and outs of the most nutritious breakfast foods, you’re probably beginning to understand why cutting out breakfast is never the solution for achieving any sort of sustainable weight loss. Instead, you need to focus on adding the above foods into your early morning diet, which should give you the biggest long-term chances of dieting success.
The great thing about all the foods we’ve mentioned is that they’re so versatile. If you like to mix things up, there’s no need to have the same breakfast every morning, when there are so many healthy options on offer. Whether you’re a sweet or savoury breakfast fan, there’s a weight-loss breakfast food for you.
The best way to get started with your new breakfast regime is to create a meal plan. Keep it simple – nobody has time to be a chef in the kitchen when it’s six in the morning and you’ve got work in an hour.
If time is a real issue for you, go with foods you can prepare in advance, like overnight oats. There’s no reason why you need to resort to that drive-through on your way to work – and if you’re serious about losing weight, it’s time to start saying yes to home-prepared foods!
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